holy f*ck…

April 10, 2008 at 11:09 am | Posted in music, photography, review | Leave a comment
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i hadnt really intended to go to this gig, as i hadn’t heard their stuff before and wasn’t therefore prepared to pay the price for someone i didnt know. however, mucho danke were interviewing them and so i was able to amble down. they turned out to be fantastic. it would be easy for an electronic band to be bland on stage but these guys had a lot of energy and totally loved what they were doing. it was a fantastic gig and so holy fuck are now top of my playlist, for the next while anyway…

and a little taster of a mini-project i did last night:

will reveal when i can.

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alexander mccall smith

March 20, 2008 at 1:30 pm | Posted in books, review | Leave a comment
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Alexander McCall Smith is perhaps best known for the No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series, but my favourite of his works is the Sunday Philosophy Club Series, which is centred on Isabel Dalhousie in Edinburgh, her relationships with her niece and her housekeeper and some light detective work. I love how she is able to spend her days at art galleries and delicatessens, pondering over brother fox and it makes me want to live in Edinburgh.

I had read the three books in the series:
The Sunday Philosophy Club

Friends, Lovers, Chocolate

The Right Attitude to Rain

assuming it was a trilogy, i expected no more. So i was delighted when i walked into Queens bookshop and saw a fourth in the series, The Careful Use of Compliments.

I read it in a day, and loved it. Having now discovered McCall Smith’s simple and well-designed website, i have learned that a fifth in the series is due out in the autumn. i highly recommend his work !

presets gig

March 18, 2008 at 6:32 pm | Posted in music, review | 1 Comment
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saw the presets at the stiff kitten last night, which was a great alternative to the typical st. patricks day celebrations in belfast. having previously seen them when they supported the rapture at mandela hall last year, i was looking forward to seeing them headline.

the venue was considerably different but much better suited to their set. with some great dj-ing before they came on, the presets played a fantastic set and were well received by the crowd. they played songs both old and new, andfrom the sounds of it, im looking forward to obtaining their new album !

taps

March 2, 2008 at 10:10 pm | Posted in restaurant, review | 1 Comment
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we visited taps restaurant on saturday night for a friend’s birthday

food was great, however the service was slow…and we ended up eating very very late. disappointing.

with so many dishes for nine of us, it would be impossible to list them all, so here’s what i had:

bread, oils and green pesto to start, which was delicious. then 3 tapas dishes: chicken skewers in white wine and garlic, halloumi in puff pastry with red onion and goats cheese and balsamic salad. for dessert, i chose the creme catalan:

all of which was totally gorgeous, and accompanied by sangria…

negatives: we never received our coffees, it took ages to recieve bread (which we were told would be straight out) and jugs of water, and despite asking for all the dishes to arrive together (as some had ordered the paella which takes a lot longer), they brought dishes out when they were ready.

next time, hopefully the service will be faster and more coherent

restaurant review – drennans

February 18, 2008 at 1:13 am | Posted in northern irish, restaurant, review | 5 Comments
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this little restaurant is so new i cant find anything on it online yet ! so apologies for lack of links – they aren’t there yet.

k. and i went to this restaurant on fri 15th, as he had been sick the night before, and so this was our valentines meal. it was chosen on a whim, as he passed it on his way up to my flat, and we decided to give it a go.

from the outside, the building looks quite closed, and the permanent signage hasn’t arrived yet, so it’s not very eye-catching, especially as it sits beside the “queue for an hour before you get a table” villa italia. we had not problem getting a booking, and so we arrived at 8pm.

with a small, welcoming reception area to the left, the atmosphere is immediately set with soft lighting and and smiling staff. we were shown to our table in the dining area, which is located on a lower level at the back. with maybe only seating a maximum of 35-40 guests, the area is intimate and comfortable. the walls are decorated with french music hall posters from the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, antique mirrors and stained glass, but it remains simple and modern.

with about four or five choices for each course, and the menu being set at £13 for two courses and £17 for three, there isnt a huge amount of choice, but its simple and provides something for everyone.

for starters, i chose the goats cheese tart, which was crumbly, creamy and delicious. k. chose the parma ham on crustini with advocado, which was also very good. for mains, i had the pork medallions, which were served on a potato terrain and a mustardy sauce. the flavours were subtle and not overwhelming, whilst the meat was tender and perfectly cooked. k. chose the steak, which was accompanied by tobacco onions and potato wedges., and a choice of either peppercorn or garlic sauce. this was also very very good. the steak was cooked as to order and was yum. deserts were kept simple with us both opting for the berry pavlova, which was large, gloopy, crunchy and yum, served with strawberries, kiwis, grapes, apple and berrys. in terms of drink, they are yet to recieve a license, but with ‘drink’ across the road, and corkage only £1.50, this is a great option.

the toilets are located upstairs, just off the balcony that overlooks one side of the eating area. these are new, modern and black – very slick. also, the flooring and doors in this area has had some thought put in, with halogen lights laid into the floor and dark walnut wood being used. it’s really lovely.

what made the experience was the piano player, who sat at the top of the stairs playing soft, laid-back, jazz/easy listening, and whose voice was perfectly suited to the atmosphere.

all in all – a fantastic, intimate, reasonably priced restaurant, with delicious, simple food and a relaxed atmosphere. highly recommended !

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